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Oct 08, 2014

At Summit Insurance, we offer a wide variety of insurance products – including, for residents of Phoenix life insurance. In the event of an incident that leads to serious incapacitation or death, life insurance helps to pay your bills and final expenses. We believe that it is important to keep life insurance in mind, especially when you’re working with an attorney for estate planning purposes. We’ve joined forces with Elizabeth Westby, of Westby Law, who has developed these tips to avoid estate planning problems later on.

  • Don’t Put Your Personal Effects in Your Will. If your goal is to avoid the probate process, your best bet is to create a revocable living trust and ensure that your personal items and all other property is properly funded into the trust and give your successor trustee or personal representative the authority to settle all disputes. 
  • Struggling to Leave Personal Effects to All Beneficiaries Equally.  This can be difficult because the items you accumulate over a lifetime can be hard to provide an accurate value to or to divide in an equal fashion. When your trust says everything should be divided equally, you’ll want to have your estate planner revise the trust to allow beneficiaries to divide your personal effects and give your personal representative or successor trustee authority to settle other disputes including whether items can be sold and who gets the cash.
  • Ensure that Your Estate Plan Considers the Estate Taxes in The State You Live In. When a couple lives in one state that doesn’t have estate taxes and drafts an estate plan with that situation in mind, there aren’t issues, unless they move to a state that does have estate taxes. If this is your situation, you’ll want to have a qualified estate planning attorney in your new location review your estate plan and revise if necessary.
  • Make Sure Your Revocable Trust Includes Retirement Plan Language. If you’ve drafted an estate plan and have invested a significant amount of your estate in a 401K or IRA, you’ll want to make sure that you have your revocable trust updates to allow your successor trustee to deal with retirement accounts to avoid negative income tax issues.
  • Similarly, Ensure that Your Powers of Attorney Have Retirement Plan Language. Since 401(k) plans and IRAs cannot be funded into your revocable trust, you need to be sure that you have a power of attorney document that includes retirement plan language to allow your attorney to manage your retirement plans if you become disabled.

If you have questions or concerns about your estate planning needs, contact Elizabeth Westby at 602-686-6375 to set up a consultation today.


866-711-5973 (fax)

Our location:

Scottsdale office

5425 E Bell Road Suite 103
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254

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